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What are the signs and symptoms of dyslexia?

Classroom teachers may not be able to determine if a child has dyslexia. They may detect early signs that suggest further assessment by a psychologist or other healthcare professional in order to actually diagnose the disorder.

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia

  • Delayed early language development
  • Problems recognizing the differences between similar sounds or segmenting words.
  • Slow learning of new vocabulary words
  • Difficulty copying from the board or a book.
  • Difficulty with learning reading, writing, and spelling skills
  • A child may not be able to remember content, even if it involves a favorite video or storybook.
  • Problems with spatial relationships can extend beyond the classroom and be observed on the playground. The child may appear to be uncoordinated and have difficulty with organized sports or games.
  • Difficulty with left and right is common, and often dominance for either hand has not been established.

Auditory problems in dyslexia encompass a variety of functions.

  • Commonly, a child may have difficulty remembering or understanding what he hears.
  • Recalling sequences of things or more than one command at a time can be difficult.
  • Parts of words or parts of whole sentences may be missed, and words can come out sounding funny.
  • The wrong word or a similar word may be used instead.
  • Children struggling with this problem may know what they want to say but have trouble finding the actual words to express their thoughts.

Many subtle signs can be observed in children with dyslexia.

  • Children may become withdrawn and appear to be depressed.
  • They may begin to act out, drawing attention away from their learning difficulty.
  • Problems with self-esteem can arise, and peer and sibling interactions can become strained.
  • These children may lose their interest in school-related activities and appear to be unmotivated or lazy.
  • The emotional symptoms and signs are just as important as the academic and require equal attention.
Return to Dyslexia

See what others are saying

Comment from: ktedder, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

I was diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age. I took speech classes along with several other tests/studies all the way through middle school. The school system told me that I would never be able to read past a fifth grade level. Well, here I am years later, with a Master's degree in architecture and sitting pretty at a great job. I still struggle with dyslexia every day, however, being aware of my condition helps me cope with it. This just goes to show you, never let people tell you that you aren't good enough, or won't ever be good enough to achieve greatness. Dyslexia does not change what your future can be, it just gives you a reason to smile when you get there.

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Comment from: Dup, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I have never actually been diagnosed with dyslexia, but I am pretty sure that I have it. My daughter is dyslexic which we did not know until she was in 5th grade. My symptoms include, but are not limited to the following: I have never been able to tell left from right. My 2nd grade teacher told me that I was going to be in 2nd grade for the rest of my life if I did not try harder to learn to read. (We moved after that.) I was always in the slowest/lowest reading group until 4th grade when they quit group reading. My spelling is less than good. I always tried to prepare myself for read aloud stuff in my classes even in high school because I stumbled all over the place and sounded stupid. The intelligence is there. I learned to read above grade level by 8th grade, but even now, I read at the sound of actual speech. I have always had trouble moving to music, I guess I do not hear the beat. I cannot do group exercise or line dancing because I go left when I ought to go right and vice versa. Currently, I am attending college and still have trouble remembering information and copying teacher's notes off the board is still a problem; I leave out key phrases or words. Classes with lots of board notes and noise leave me emotionally and physically drained.

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Comment from: DeeCee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 19

I'm currently going back to college. I have always had trouble with p, q, d and b. I have always gotten good grades but trouble spelling! I have the worst time typing! Auto correct helps but I am always catching my mistakes. I always felt slow when reading and struggle passing typing because of all of my errors. It takes me twice as long to read or write. I feel for those students that have to rely on typing so much more these days!

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